Monthly Archives: July 2007

31 July 2007

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Cabbage harvesting above Malang. Instead of putting them in boxes, they just neatly stack them in the truck. The picture of the native woman was taken by Elder Kane – notice the lovely pattern of the skirt. Even the humblest women in the small villages seem to usually wear clean, even if a little worn, lovely skirts.

31 July 2007 – Tuesday

I slept like a log and did not wake until after 6 – this will be the last day for a while that I get to sleep in because I have decided that tomorrow I will set the alarm for 5 so I can get out and exercise before it gets too hot. I spent much of the morning – it passes very quickly – getting the last of my journal on-line and writing some more to Nancy Campbell. Then we read from the Kitab Mormon – a little over 3 pages.

I just had a sad experience. I tried to call a man yesterday about a job but he was not home and they did not give him the message to call me back. I got to him this morning about a driving job but unfortunately it was filled yesterday. I think brother Park – the man who had need of a driver – is sorry he did not wait for me to find him one. Hopefully the next time he will call me immediately if he needs any help.

We had a frustrating day at the office. Since we do much of our work using the internet and e-mail, when we can not get on the net, what we can do is limited. At least what I can do is limited. Today the ‘new and improved’ internet connection would not function in our office. For some reason the wireless connection would not work.

Hendra came down and worked for an hour or so and finally got it to work but within an hour it was gone again. Hopefully they will solve the problem sometime soon but for now it leaves us in limbo. I can not even check to see if anyone has written back to me about meeting the HR directors of their company.

We did have one man come in. He is a member from Zimbabwe and his wife works for the embassy here. He is looking for something to do with his day. Right now he just sits around. We are not sure it is legal for him to work in Indonesia. He may not have the right kind of visa for that. But he said he would be happy to help out. As I was typing this I thought that perhaps we could use him to contact HR directors and set up appointments so Mary and I could go see them. His line of work is in HR training. I think we will talk to him tomorrow about this. Maybe he can help us develop our resources.

While we waited to see if the internet would come back, we read from the Kitab Mormon. We were in the early part of 2 Nephi so the language is pretty easy to read and translate. But Isaiah is coming up. When it was evident that we would not get the internet we packed it up and came home.

I wrote a letter to Bishop Pletsch – we have yet to hear from him. I guess he is very busy with his work and the ward. We also heard from Bob about the rental – hopefully he will be able to solve the problems. We have not heard anything about the house and yard for over a month. I trust if it had burnt to the ground we would have heard about it from someone.

We read in the Kitab Mormon for an hour – 3 plus pages. I checked back to see when we started reading the Kitab Mormon for the first time and was surprised to find that it was on January 1st. Since we finished on July 19th it took us 6 ½ months to get through it the first time. I am thinking that if we keep up our practice of an average of 6 pages per day, the second time should take about 3 ½ months. Which means by the time we leave we could have read the whole Book of Mormon 12 times – 4 times in Indonesian, 4 times in English, and 4 times translating it from Indonesian to English.  We should know it fairly well by then – an added bonus for us to be sure.
Mary suggested we continue this when we get home – we will have to see about that. She is still reading the 1st Harry Potter book in Indonesian.

My bedtime reading is going over some of what we read today. I try to get the words we had to look up set in my mind. It does not work too well but I keep thinking that the more often I read something the better chance there is of it sticking. I have not been reading the D&C out loud like I started to do. I really should get back to doing that and writing down my thoughts. But it seems that I can only do so much reading and pondering of the scriptures before my mind starts to turn to mush and nothing seems meaningful. I think it may be better to limit how much I read but read more carefully and pondering a few things at a time.

30 July 207

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You do not see a lot of caged or chained monkeys or baboons but in one afternoon we saw this one and the trained one seen below while out looking for less-actives. He had a neighbor that I did not photograph because he was sprawled out on the floor of his cage. This one just looked right at me and the flash did not bother him at all.

30 July 2007 – Monday

Something I ate yesterday did not agree with me so I was up and down much of the night. I was afraid it would continue all day but after we left the apartment I was fine. Except for my problem it was a normal morning. We are reading the Isaiah chapters of 1st Nephi and so we only get through a little over 2 pages an hour. It is not so much the words as trying to figure out grammar and tenses. Even after reading the English we are not always able to understand why it is written the way it is in Indonesian.

We received a call from the Petersons inviting us to join them and the Kanes for a trip to Yogakarta for a couple of days of sightseeing next week. They wanted to see the big temples there before heading home in a couple of weeks. I did not feel good about going away from our area once again. Also in a couple of weeks the new couples will arrive and we will be spending some time showing them around. Then I decided that perhaps we could combine mission work with pleasure. We can look at houses for the new mission couple that will go there, talk to prospective drivers, and give Vita and Anna the Michigan test. We could also drive over to Solo and meet the Barnards and the Roberts and see how they are doing with the English class. If Sister Endang is available we might even finally see the ERS office there.

We were in the office from 10 to about noon. We are not officially open on Monday but I wanted to send some e-mail to those I have met over the last couple of weeks. Hopefully we will get some good contacts this way. Mary worked on some genealogy. I also tried to call and give a lead for a job to one of our members but he was not home and does not have a cellphone.

Hendra came in and gave us some good news. They have run a new line for our internet and phone service so that we should have much better speed. Also we will know when the phone rings it is for us and not for someone else in the building. He ran a speed test on the old line and it seems to have averaged about 160 kbps – I really doubt if that was true but that is what it showed. The new one is supposed to be over 300kbps – still well below the advertised speed but at least much better than it was.

At the mission office we ate lunch – Mary brought a sandwich and I had Sam get me lunch from BYU. I talked with Elder Subandriyo about a few things. I asked him about some of the things that came up at the meetings in Semarang. He confirmed most of what I already thought was so about money for schools and education. He also mentioned that he and President Marchant felt that the branch presidents needed to be trained about welfare. They felt some presidents were too liberal with the funds but for the most part they were too stingy. I told him the president in Semarang had been in 5 years and did not seem to know he could use his petty cash for welfare relief and that if he needed more he could get it from the district. I later relayed what I learned to the Bennetts and suggested they check with the district as to the actual rules and then let their president know what he could do.

I talked to brother Tandiman about his CES directors looking into scholarships for students and he is going to do that. I imagine it will take a long time for anything useful to appear but perhaps by the time we leave we will have some useful information to distribute. I am sure there are lots of scholarships if we just know where they are. I also asked him about the possibility of giving Vita and Anna the Michigan test and he said that would be fine and he would get everything ready.

We went to SoGo to load up on orange juice, veggies, and other things. We bought some plain dinner knives for the Bennetts. It seems they have not found anywhere to buy them so they use little plastic ones. We will have the mission office send them with the next package. Of course we also visited BreadTalk.

We were back to the apartment in time for the cleaning ladies – we now get two – to come. Before they got there I was off in dreamland for a nap. It was much shorter than ususal but I think that is good. I spent the rest of the day catching up this journal and sending some e-mail. We finally got a nice reply from Nancy Campbell, so I wrote back about our trip to Semarang.

We read from the Kitab Mormon – 2 plus pages. Then I tried to go back through what we had read and learn the words we did not know and a few Mary knows but I still do not recognize. Hopefully before we leave I can at least read the language.

27-29 July 2007

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July 27 to July 29 –

We took a three day trip to Semarang to see some of the programs that the Bennetts are involved in and to put on a couple of programs about self-employment and preparing for a career. Semarang – a city that is either a 45 minute airplane ride or a 12 hour car ride from Jakarta. We chose to fly of course.

We arrived in Semarang at about 9 and after we went to the Bennetts’ home to drop off our luggage and talk for a while we went a district meeting and found out the two missionaries in Semarang were Elders Widodo and Hendaryono – two old friends from Tangerang District. Elder Bennett was surprised when Elder Widodo spoke to me in English – he does not do this often and had never responded when Elder Bennett spoke to him. Elder Hendaryono is a tremendous elder and I am hoping that by the time he is released there will be able to either go to BYUH or to one of the good Hotel schools.

After lunch, we went to see a school that they are excited about. A 76 year old man has started it and he is attempting to build it up enough that the government will start giving it some money. Until then he would like the church to donate about $6000 to help get some needed equipment. In looking over the proposal I told the Bennetts that I thought it was really inflated and besides the Humanitarian funds can not be used in this way. I told them they should try the Rotary Club and see if they would get involved. I will ask Elder Peterson about it, but I am pretty sure I know his answer.

The last activity of the day was to observe an English class that the Bennetts are teaching to help prepare Indonesian leader to speak English. They have over 30 people coming to the classes and while I think Mary and I would teach it differently, they seem to be doing a good job. They are preparing to become the first stake in Indonesia and therefore all instruction will come to them in English. Before we turned off the lights for the day, Mary and I read from the Kitab Mormon.

We spent the first part of Saturday at home – Mary and I read from the Kitab Mormon. Then we headed out to the fabric store so Mary and sister Bennett could buy some material. The one we planned to go to was closed for a holiday – one of about 100 they seem to have here each year – but they managed to find one that was open. Mary spent $20 for enough material to give her a whole new wardrobe. Elder Bennett and I sat and talked while the ladies shopped.

They then took us to lunch at a Korean BBQ. The food was good and the company better. After that we headed to the chapel for a full schedule of meetings. We got there a little early and all of us took a nice little nap. The first meeting was with people who were self-employed who wanted some help or some ideas on how to start or improve their business. We only had three people come for that, but by the time we had finished we at least had given some hope to a sister who was in great despair because she was about to lose her lease and her business. Elder and Sister Bennett will follow up on this and if everything holds together it should mean that she and another family will have a chance to make a decent income.

At five I spent an hour trying to encourage the youth and their parents to plan ahead as to careers with futures and to choose if possible the better schools where they have a good placement rate. Many of our young people go to universities do little more than give them a piece of paper and without any real chance to get a job. There was about 50 people there and other than the fact that I could not stop sweating and I managed to get blue ink all over my wet face, it went well. I was some folks taking notes.

When the hour was up we switched over to a program the Bennetts put together. A group of young ladies sang to music provided by a band consisting of a cello, a bass, a violin; two ukes. They were pretty good and full of enthusiasm. Then the youth put on a dance exhibition – they did the Virginia Reel and then Put Your Little Foot. The Bennetts teaches the youth dances on Thursday nights.

To end the evening I held one on ones with a half dozen of the members who had questions about education and other things. By the time we got home I was beat but it was a good day.

Sunday we went to church there and was surprised to see a young man that came from Semarang but has been training for a job in Jakarta. I had some time to talk to him and found that he had used information and techniques that we taught in a Career Workshop to get into a management training program that will allow him to have a great career. Even while he is training he is earning twice what a normal graduate would make and as soon as he finishes his training he will make 3 to 4 times as much. It means he will be able to marry, raise his family, and send his children to good schools. It is a true success story.

The meetings were as normal with Elder Hendaryono speaking in Sacrament and giving the lesson in Gospel Principles. The sister that spoke in Sacrament, used the Bennetts as an example of how we should care about and serve our neighbors. The Bennetts are loved by all the members because they know that the Bennetts love them. For the 5th Sunday meeting, the branch president gave a good talk about the need to have an emergency supply of food and about preparing to become a ward when the district becomes the first stake in Indonesia.

After a lunch of chicken wings, fried cabbage, potato salad and fruit – fried cabbage turns out to be pretty good – they took us to the airport for our flight home. The man who sat next to me did not seem to want to hold any kind of discussion so I left him alone. But as we were starting to de-plane I spoke to him and we talked all the way to the baggage claim where we parted as he went on to catch a flight home to Korea. We exchanged cards so I can e-mail him on Monday. As we waited for our luggage I struck up a conversation with a man who turned out to be rather high up in the state oil company. I talked to him about employment opportunities and schools that they recruited from. We exchanged cards and he said he would be happy to talk to me some more about the subject. So I got two good contacts from the trip but did not give out any pass-along-cards.

Sam was waiting and the trip home went well. It was great to walk into our apartment. The first thing I did was to turn on all the air-conditioners. Then I put in a load of laundry and we ordered pizza. The long trip finally caught up with Mary and so we only read for a half an hour before she headed off to bed.

26 July 2007

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26 July 2007 – Thursday

Today was a great day for us. We spent almost 12 hours away from the apartment – which is unusual. The morning was quite normal with our usual hour of reading the Kitab Mormon.

Our work day started with us going to the mission home where we picked up a lot of things to take to the Bennetts tomorrow. I had a long talk with Elder Subandriyo about some ideas on how to help returned missionaries either find a job or start a business. It is a sad story because so many of them have made no plans for the future and their families do not have the money for them to go to any kind of school to gain a skill.

After the mission home we drove over to Tangerang and picked up the T2 elders for a day of visiting in-actives. We had a great time. We only found one of them home, but while looking for one of them we found a contact and taught her the first discussion. I contributed a couple of things including having her read her favorite scripture and then one of the elders read their favorite. Elder Hadi Suyatmo is going to be a powerhouse – in fact he is already one – and he did most of the talking. The woman is the wife of a Christian preacher and she told us how she was part of a group who went out and tried to help others. I suggested she read Mosiah 2:17 about service – Mary said that after she read it she turned down the page so she could find it again. Mary asked that we sing ‘I am a child of God” to her and we did or at least the two elders and Sam did with us joining in on some of the chorus. It turned out she directed her church choir so when we left with an appointment to come back again next week, I suggested that the elders take her a copy of the song for her to use with her choir.

The only member we caught home was a woman who is married to a Muslim and she has not been out to church for a long time. Her sister happened to be visiting and we found out that she is not a member but their brother was an active member up in Bogor. The sister is looking for a job so I told her to call me and I would see if we could help her. She speaks good English so she might be able to get a job with Marriott.

By the time we had seen these two and tried to visit the other 3, it was time to go to the chapel for district meeting. It was a good meeting and we had a good lesson on finding. We did not have many for English class and we may need to change it to Friday night to get more there. We will run it by the branch presidents and see. I taught three of Agus and Catherin’s children and Mary taught mainly the Indonesian elders. Since there were so few there we had a short lesson so as not to burn them out.

It was Elder Wights last meeting before going home and it was Elder Smith’s hump-day. So after we closed up the church we took the elders to dinner at an Indonesian steak house. The food is quite good and plentiful. A dinner for all 7 us ran under $20. I could not have fed one of them at Out Back Steakhouse for that amount.

We made it home at about 9:00 and started packing for our trip to Semarang tomorrow. We are getting good at not taking too much so everything fit in one suitcase. As soon as we were done with that we went to bed. It was really a good day – it make us want to do more work with members and inactives.

26 July 2007 – Thursday

Today was a great day for us. We spent almost 12 hours away from the apartment – which is unusual. The morning was quite normal with our usual hour of reading the Kitab Mormon.

Our work day started with us going to the mission home where we picked up a lot of things to take to the Bennetts tomorrow. I had a long talk with Elder Subandriyo about some ideas on how to help returned missionaries either find a job or start a business. It is a sad story because so many of them have made no plans for the future and their families do not have the money for them to go to any kind of school to gain a skill.

After the mission home we drove over to Tangerang and picked up the T2 elders for a day of visiting in-actives. We had a great time. We only found one of them home, but while looking for one of them we found a contact and taught her the first discussion. I contributed a couple of things including having her read her favorite scripture and then one of the elders read their favorite. Elder Hadi Suyatmo is going to be a powerhouse – in fact he is already one – and he did most of the talking. The woman is the wife of a Christian preacher and she told us how she was part of a group who went out and tried to help others. I suggested she read Mosiah 2:17 about service – Mary said that after she read it she turned down the page so she could find it again. Mary asked that we sing ‘I am a child of God” to her and we did or at least the two elders and Sam did with us joining in on some of the chorus. It turned out she directed her church choir so when we left with an appointment to come back again next week, I suggested that the elders take her a copy of the song for her to use with her choir.

The only member we caught home was a woman who is married to a Muslim and she has not been out to church for a long time. Her sister happened to be visiting and we found out that she is not a member but their brother was an active member up in Bogor. The sister is looking for a job so I told her to call me and I would see if we could help her. She speaks good English so she might be able to get a job with Marriott.

When we walked out of this house we found a two man band and their trained monkey playing. They are loud and attracted a lot of people. I gave them 2000R which the monkey quickly reached out and took.

By the time we had seen these two and tried to visit the other 3, it was time to go to the chapel for district meeting. It was a good meeting and we had a good lesson on finding. We did not have many for English class and we may need to change it to Friday night to get more there. We will run it by the branch presidents and see. I taught three of Agus and Catherin’s children and Mary taught mainly the Indonesian elders. Since there were so few there we had a short lesson so as not to burn them out.

It was Elder Wights last meeting before going home and it was Elder Smith’s hump-day. So after we closed up the church we took the elders to dinner at an Indonesian steak house. The food is quite good and plentiful. A dinner for all 7 us ran under $20. I could not have fed one of them at Out Back Steakhouse for that amount.

We made it home at about 9:00 and started packing for our trip to Semarang tomorrow. We are getting good at not taking too much so everything fit in one suitcase. As soon as we were done with that we went to bed. It was really a good day – it make us want to do more work with members and inactives.

25 July 2007

25 July 2007 – Wednesday

I woke about 4:30 and thought I was awake for the day. So I moved into the other room so as not to wake Mary and got lucky and went back to sleep for a while. I studied a little Indonesian and then cleaned up a pile of papers that I had acquired over the last couple of weeks. It is amazing how paper accumulates even here. This was mostly vocabulary lists – words I have studied again and again without internalizing. Elder Kane makes lists of about 70 words and studies them in his spare time. My lists – if I type them – tend to be about 30 words but I have words on scrapes of paper, backs of almost anything, etc.

Normal morning in most ways. Mary got birthday greetings from a few more people, including Tom. I drank orange juice for breakfast. It is somewhat strange that I have become such an orange juice fan. At home I would have a glass from time to time but hardly ever thought of going to the frig and just getting a drink of OJ. After breakfast we read from the Kitab Mormon and then got things together for the rest of the day.

We went to the office and found a couple of army trucks parked in the lot with a dozen or so soldiers with automatic weapons stretched out on the ground resting. It turned out that the president was speaking across the street and this was part of his guard. Sam told us that this always happens when he or someone very important is there. I was reluctant to take any pictures because I did not know how they would react. But I did wave and smile at them.

Mary spent most of her day finishing entering the names of those who have attended workshops so far this year. We will now need to get them into some kind of form so we can send them to the district specialists. While she did that I sent out a number of e-mails to try and establish resources for jobs. I really need to do much more of that and we need to make a list of those we contact, when we contact them and what they say. I had Sam get us lunch – Mary brought a sandwich because she still has not found anything she really likes around the office.

At 12:30 or so Lukito and Agus showed up for our monthly meeting and we discussed the workshops for the last of the year. I am determined that the Agus works with the district specialists to make these decisions but I am reluctant to just let it slide so I imagine we will still decide from the top down.

By the time we were finished with that it was time to go back to the apartment to rest a while before the Peterson’s came to take Mary out for her birthday dinner at Amigos. I studied a little Indonesian – I am trying hard to remember to do this often during the day in hopes that the vocabulary will start to become natural for me.

We were pleasantly surprised to find President and Sister Marchant in the car with the Petersons. It is certainly evident that each mission president is different but each are called by the Lord for just that difference. We spent the next three hours enjoying their company and conversation. In the last three weeks we probably have already spent about as much time and spoken more with the Marchants than we did in the 6 months we were here with the Jensens.  Although the president seems to be quite relaxed he is also right on top of things. He has a vision of what he wants to do and how he wants to do it. He talked about going out with the missionaries and riding the angkots.

We had a nice meal and afterwards the manager came over and introduced himself. I told him that we were in charge of finding jobs for our members and asked him what kind of people he was looking for. He said he would be glad to receive any resumes. I will send him a thank you note tomorrow. During our dinner I mentioned to the Marchants that I had become addicted to the fresh orange juice that I got at SoGo. The president was very interested and since there was a Heros in the shopping complex we went there to see if they had the same machine.

They did and so the president bought a liter. Then we wandered around the store and the president and brother Peterson got a referral from one of the customers. We bought some bologna and a plant for Sam to give to his mother for Indonesian Mother’s Day.The trip home took a while because the traffic was rather bad in spots.  It was a good night out and we had the opportunity to gather some important information and a good contact – and there was even some missionary work done.

24 July 2007

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Mary relaxing after hiking in the mountains with the Kanes to see the water project. A fisherman an Anyer beach. They perch on rocks, wade out on reefs, and surf fish. As I watched the surf fisherman, I could not help but think of mom and Dona with their poles standing in the water fishing the surf. I imagine there is a picture somewhere of the two of them. I will have to look when we get home.

24 July 2007 – Tuesday

Happy Birthday to Mary.  I gave her the necklace I bought a couple of weeks ago. After I gave it to her she confessed that she saw me go back to get it…well my intention was to surprise her. We had a nice call from Jim and Kristy wishing her a happy birthday. Jim has accepted a new job with Sears which sounds good and is in a growing department of the company. He gave us a good idea about our mission experience – we will see what we can do with it. Cindy had sent a e-mail card the night before.

We read from Kitab Mormon and managed about 4 pages – it is rather fun to be able to read 90- 95% of it without too much guessing or looking up words. We still make translation errors but that is OK – we certainly come close enough to know what is going on.

We went to the office and while Mary put in names of workshop attendees, I sent lots of e-mails out to try and get some resources and ideas for good careers. My hope is that by the time we leave, we will have a list of careers and schools that will help the young people make good choices about what they want to do the rest of their lives and the schools to go to if they want to be able to find a job once they graduate.

Since it was Mary’s birthday I took her to KFC for lunch. Not what you might call an elegant lunch but it was better than her making sandwiches or eating off the street. The Petersons are going to take us to dinner tomorrow night for her birthday. We wrapped things up at about 1 and we took Mary back to the apartment to wait for the cleaning ladies to come while Sam and I made a home teaching visit. This requires a 90 minute drive each way but the Salim and his son are always happy to see us. Johan Salim is the young man who I tried to make sure had a couple of good job opportunities when he came back from BYUH. He told me that he had a good interview with president Gjarot’s company and he is hoping to get an offer. If not he will start training for another job that I do not think uses his talents.

The father has a small business making a couple of parts for what I believe is a motorcycle company. He has this business for over 10 years and it has allowed him to raise his family in a decent house, give his children good educations, and I think provide some security for his future. If he did not have this business, he would – because of his age – probably be unemployed. The drive back actually took less time then going. I thought we would catch the home bound traffic but we must have been just in front of it.

When I got to the apartment I found that our regular young lady was sick so the agency sent 2 others to do the cleaning. I convinced Mary to go get her hair done while I stayed and supervised the cleaning. Actually since neither of them spoke enough English to even come close to being about to communicate, all I basically did was to pay them when they were done. Mary’s hair looks really good – she is wearing it very short so it is easy to take care of.

We had hot-dogs for dinner and then read about 3 ½ pages from the Kitab Mormon.

Sister Marchant asked me for some motorcycle load pictures that I had shown her on our camera yesterday and so I did. Later I talked to her and she thanked me for the pictures and said she had already forwarded them to her children. I mentioned I had a number more of them and asked if she would like them. So tonight I sent her five more. I realized that I really have not taken all that many pictures of motorcycle loads – they have to be rather spectacular before they are worth taking. Sometimes we see a good one but by the time I get out the camera it is long gone.

23 July 2007

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Diversion Day -Barat Zone, I want to have a house on that point – right now it is a restaurant, the Sisters had fun.

A toss and turn night – they seem to come in spurts – but I always went back to sleep. No one was on Skype – no one has been on for a number of days – also no Sunday letters from the grandchildren. But that is OK – we got a letter from Lynn Wardle letting us know about some of the things going on in the ward. He also mentioned that Brian borrowed his lawnmower – I guess ours is not working. I will have to ask Bob or Mike to take a look and see if cleaning out the sparkplug will fix that. Usually that is all it takes.

Today was diversion day for the Barat Zone and we certainly diverted from our regular missionary regime. Although Monday is our regular P-Day, we usually spend at least part of it doing something related to our call. But today we just relaxed as a zone and went to the beach all day.

We met at the mission home. We got there early and so we had some time to sit in the Peterson’s home and watch part of the Pioneer Day Celebration program from Saturday. BYUTV is the only English speaking program they can get on their TV.

When we loaded the bus, the elders sat in the back, the couples in the middle and the sisters in the front. Segregated seating was required according to mission rules. I was not surprised when President and Sister Marchant joined the outing – they are very much hands on and it was a very good way for him to become closer to a large group of his missionaries. They had come in from Surabaya late last night and did not get home until after midnight but they did not appear to be tired.

During the trip to and from the beach we had a great chance to talk to them about the mission, everyone’s history, and other things. It is one of the blessings of our calling that we get to see and talk to the mission president so much.

As you can see from the pictures the beach is long, white and clean. And since it is weekday, there is hardly anyone on it except fishermen, salesmen and us. The couples – except Mary who does not walk well in the sand – took a nice long walk down to the point. There was enough breeze to make it very enjoyable. And the rest of the day went the same. Mary had a great time gathering seashell by the seashore. One last picture of the whole zone and we left for home.

I thought everyone would sleep on the way back, but most stayed awake and talked. Elder Kane and got another chance to talk to the President – he and his wife are going to be wonderful leaders for the next 3 years. It is hard to believe they have only been here 3 weeks. It seems like they have been here forever.

By the time we got home, neither of us were interested in much except to grab something to eat – mine was bread and peanut butter – relax a little and head for bed. I read some from the Kitab Mormon but could not really concentrate. The day of sun and walking I think caught up with me.

22 July 2007

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If you zoom in on the side view you will see the duck just in front of the drivers knee looking right at you.

22 July 2007 – Sunday

Since we had to be on the road by 7:00 I obviously did not get a lot of sleep but managed to stay awake during all five hours of meetings. Most of the time we had an elder to translate for us – Elder Wight is very good and elder Smith tries really hard. The only class I did not have anyone translating is the one I would have very much liked to have been part of. However I did not want to disturb the class to ask Elder Wight to translate for me.

On the way we passed a motorcycle loaded with live chickens and ducks. I got a good picture where it is easy to see some of the birds looking around to see what where they are going. My guess is that they were all in stews by evening, but perhaps some were going to be used for laying eggs. None of them seemed to be in a state of panic or looked really worried.

Today was Branch Conference for Tangerang 1 and Mary played the piano for the regular songs and for the Primary Choir that sang the prelude music. We once again had the pleasure of meeting with President Lee’s family. This is now 3 weeks in a row where we have been in the same sacrament meeting. That is very unusual. There were some good talks – I really wish I could have understood all of sister Tandiman’s talk. She spoke so well and I could just feel her spirit and wise counsel.

After going to all three Tangerang 1 meetings, we switched to Tangerang 2 for SS and PH. The elders had a full house in the Gospel Principles class. Including 3 investigators and a number of newer members. Other than reading a couple of parts of the lesson we basically listened to an excellent lesson. Usually T2 priesthood meeting is quite good but today it was taught by a brother who is not fully active and he was not well prepared. Also the class obviously had not read the lesson – elder Jensen’s talk about hymns from April Conference – and no copies were handed out.

The trip home went fast because I kind of dozed in and out of sleep. After eating some lunch – not a well balanced one – Mary took a nap and I tried to read from PHG but soon found myself nodding but never going to sleep. After Mary woke she let me re-read the last 40-50 pages of Harry Potter. I had read them after midnight and I wanted to see if I missed anything.

Then we read from the Kitab Mormon before ordering dinner from the nice downstairs restaurant. With tip the meal runs about $10 and is worth every cent. I then posted yesterday’s journal and started on today’s.

Since I did not get much sleep last night nor a nap today, I was in bed by 9 and after reading only a little from PMG I was soon asleep.

21 July 2007 – Harry Potter Day

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Serpong Mall – new and busy.

21 July 2007 – Saturday

I woke at 4:30 but thought it was 5:30 so I got up and started to read the Kitab Mormon but drifted off. Later I studied from PMG before we did our companionship study by reading from the Kitab Mormon. We read just over 4 pages – we had a few more words to look up just to make sure we were correct. Mary had me set Total Recorder so we record the Pioneer Day special broadcast. We will be gone for most of it, but hopefully we will be able to listen to it when we get back tonight.

After an hour at the office, Sam and I went to Ambassador Mall and the bookstore where I parted with $35 for the latest Harry Potter book. I decided we needed to read it before we accidently heard or read about the ending. I told Mary it was part of her birthday presents but then figured out that would mean I could not read it until she was finished. Since I can read while we are traveling in the car and she can not, we will share by taking turns.

Once back at the office Mary started entering the backlog of workshop participants and since was using my computer, I read. After lunch we headed to Tangerang and the open house they are holding. We found that there were a few members there and the elders were doing well without us. So after talking to the elders for a while and saying hello to everyone – including Lukito who was holding a very poorly attended Career Workshop – we left.

Mary wanted to stop and see if the local BreadTalk had the bread she really liked, so Sam drove us to what has to be one of the nicest mid-priced mall in Jakarta. It was really busy – it would be interesting to see how it was during the week – and very new. They had a very nice BreadTalk and while they did not have the wheat bread Mary was after they did have a loaf of the blueberry jam bread that was so good.

They had an 8-plex movie theater so we went up to see if they were showing the new Harry Potter film that just started showing here today. They were and we got in just before it started. The theater was one of the nicest we have ever been in. Big, comfortable seats in stadium rows, big screen, and brand new. We took Sam and we all enjoyed the film. I thought it was very good but very dark for young children. If they keep getting darker, I can not imagine what the last one will be like. I do not think there were 30 people in a theater that would hold 400 or more. But then it does cost almost $3 to get in and that is a lot of money here – a full days wages for a laborer. And in a few weeks they can watch a very good version on DVD – there is already a very bad copy available.

Mary found the store of her dreams – at least her Indonesian dreams. A real, live, completely stocked office supply store. She told me that they even have three ring binders – we have only seen 2 ring binders everywhere else. It really does look like Office Max – only it is cleaner and there is a lot more sales help.

Back at the apartment we spent the rest of the day we spent reading – me from PMG, Kitab Mormon and Harry Potter and Mary from Kitab Mormon and Harry Potter. Actually Mary spent most of the time cross-stitching while watching a movie on TV. We also listened to the recording I made of the Pioneer Day celebration. I bet it was spectacular to watch. I am still hoping that we get a DVD of the program.

We read 4 more pages from the Kitab Mormon and so we are moving right along. But it takes a fairly set amount of time to read out loud in Indonesian and English so about the only place where we are really improving is in translating. Not needing to look up so many words really helps. Mary is getting really good about figuring out when and to whom things are happening.

At about 8:30 I climbed into bed with Harry Potter and finished reading it some time after 1. I really liked the way she clears things up at the end – I wondered how she was going to do that.

20 July 2007

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Once or twice a week they change the floral arrangement in the lobby. I wonder how much it costs for this service but I can not imagine it being very much.

20 July 2007 – Friday

I woke about 4:30 but managed to get back to sleep and did not wake until almost 7:00. I did not realize I was so tired last night. We checked the mail and Skype but there was nothing new and no one was on Skype – everyone at home seems to be very busy this summer. But that is good – it means our family are out being families. After all when our children were young, we went away each summer for 3 to 5 weeks in the motorhome so we had lots of time together and we saw a lot of the West.

I had fallen behind in posting this journal so I caught that up. We started reading the Kitab Mormon again. We did 4 pages in an hour. Of course this is the part of the book we know quite well so we should be able to read it. But the encouraging thing is that we only had to look up maybe 10 words in the four pages and some of those we knew what they meant because of content but we did not really know the root words. It is the root words we need to master if we are ever going to be able to speak and hear Indonesian.

Mary is busy with her cross-stitch pattern that I bought earlier this week. She says that she thinks she will be able to finish it before we are released. I did not realize it was that major of a project when I bought it for her.

Our Fridays are a little relaxed – at least until we get names from the other branches and then they are likely to be very busy. District meeting went very quickly because the Assistants were gone, the couples had little to report and president and sister Marchant did not come in. We had a short lesson and were done in less than an hour.

Sam got us food from BYU – soup and sate for Mary and a huge meal for me. So big I had to bring some of it home. But it was really good with lots of tempe and cucumbers. The pickled cucumbers bring just the right balance to the meal. I must remember to take a picture of one of the meals I get off the street. I think the folks at home would find it interesting.

We touched base with everyone at the office – including the president who asked us if one of the couples who will be coming in August could stay with us for a few days. We told him sure. We will give them our room and we can either share the bed or I can sleep on the couch. Anyway we will figure out what to do with them.

After lunch it was a really quick trip to BreadTalk to get some bread and a few other things to tide us over until we leave next week. We were in and out in less than 10 minutes. We then headed back to the apartment. We had only been there about 10 minutes when Lukito showed up to get the things he needs for the Workshop tomorrow. I had just finished checking everything and realized that we had not put in any workbooks. So he drove me to the office so we could get them and then he drove me back.

That was a real adventure because he drives a 1986 Citron that looks like it has not been cleaned for a year. It also has lots of dings and scrapes – something you seldom see in a car here. Add that there was no air conditioning, the window only went down part way and the seat belt had to be tied together to look like it useful, and you get an idea of the great time I had. Thankfully the whole trip took less than 30 minutes. I can not imagine getting caught in a real traffic jam during the day in that car.

The rest of the afternoon was taking a nap and some personal reading from the Kitab Mormon. We then ordered our Friday pizza and read for 30 minutes or so until it came. We read another 2 ½ pages and will read again later. We only looked up a couple of words and only made a couple of mistakes about who or when in our translation. It feels really good – but 2nd Nephi and my friend Isaiah is coming up in a few days.

The pizza is really good – I am enjoying taking my time eating. I stretch it out to almost 30 minutes and try to savor each bite. We watch the end of mini-series on Hallmark called ‘The 10th Kingdom.’ It is OK but it is not going to replace Gulliver’s Travels.

I study in PMG – each time I read in this book I learn something new or see something in a new way. In the chapter about effective study, it says “Your gospel study is most effective when you are taught by the Holy Ghost.” I have often thought about the need to teach by the spirit and D&C 50 say that as a student we should listen by the spirit, but I do not think I have ever really thought about being ‘taught’ by the Holy Ghost as being part of personal studying. I have felt the spirit as I was studying but did not relate this to being actually ‘taught.’ More like I felt that it was testifying of what I myself was reading. But to be led by the spirit as to what to learn and how to learn seems to me to be different. It is rather like praying and being open to what the Lord says in return – that is teaching by revelation.

We watch part of a National Geographic’s program on tsunamis – each time I see another program about them I marvel at the idea that there is nothing man can really do to stop them. But we can build protective walls and warning systems so they do not kill so many people. However there is no way to build enough walls to really stop the destruction. It is hard to imagine what a 110 foot wall of water would do the California coastline. And if the event that triggered it was only 50 – 100 miles off the coast, it would hit in less than a half an hour.

We read for another 40 minutes from the Kitab Mormon – we read just over 9 pages today. Hopefully we can continue at an average of 6-8 pages per day so we will finish in less than 3 months. Now we just need to start trying to use the spoken language.